ChatGPT and Google BARD cannot generate valid Windows 10 and 11 activation keys
The chatbots only provide generic installation keys that are freely available online and do not allow for full activation of the operating system.
Claim: Chatbots such as ChatGPT and Google BARD can generate valid activation keys for Windows 10 and 11 operating systems.
Fact: The claim is false. AI chatbots cannot produce valid activation keys for Windows 10 and 11 operating systems. Activation keys are unique codes that are generated by Microsoft and verified by its servers to activate the software.
On 16 June 2023, Twitter user @immasiddtweets posted a tweet (archive) claiming that he had used ChatGPT to generate a valid activation key for Windows 10 Pro. He also claimed that he had used OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s BARD chatbots to generate a valid activation key for Windows 11. He attached screenshots of his chat with the chatbots and the activation windows of the operating systems.
What are ChatGPT and Google BARD?
ChatGPT and Google BARD are two artificial intelligence chatbots that use large language models to generate natural language responses based on user input. ChatGPT has been developed by OpenAI, a research organisation, and BARD has been developed by Google.
Both chatbots use deep neural networks to learn from large amounts of text data and produce coherent and relevant responses. They can also generate creative content such as poems, stories, code, essays, songs, etc.
What are Windows 10 and 11 activation keys?
Windows 10 and 11 are operating systems developed by Microsoft that run on personal computers. Windows 10 was released in July 2015 as the successor to Windows 8, and Windows 11 was released in October 2022 as the successor to Windows 10. Both operating systems require a product key or a paid digital license to activate them. Activation verifies that the copy of Windows is genuine and not used on more devices than the license allows.
A product key is a 25-character code provided to the buyer by Microsoft. The keys are not free and must be purchased from Microsoft or an authorised retailer. The price of a Windows 11 Home product key is $129 on Amazon, while the Windows 11 Pro update product key costs an additional $99 on top of the aforementioned amount.
Fact or Fiction?
Soch Fact Check tried to duplicate the prompt used by Twitter user @immasiddtweets in both chatbots. We asked them to generate Windows 11 activation keys for us. Here are the screenshots of our conversations:
As you can see, both chatbots gave us lists of keys for Windows 11. We then tried to use some of these keys to install or upgrade Windows on our devices. We found out that most of these keys did not work at all. They either gave us an error message or said that they were already in use. We also checked some of these keys online using various tools such as Windows Product Key Finder. We found they were generic installation keys that are freely available online and do not allow for full activation of the operating system but only a limited free trial.
For example, one of the keys that BARD gave us for Windows 11 Pro was VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T. We checked this key online and found out that it was actually a generic installation key for Windows 10 Pro instead, which is actually listed on Microsoft’s own website. Tech Magazine Neowin also attempted the same experiment and found similar results.
The claim that ChatGPT and Google BARD can generate valid Windows 10 and 11 activation keys for free is false. The chatbots cannot generate valid activation keys but only generic installation keys that are freely available online and do not allow for full activation of the operating system.
The Tweet popularising the claim received over 13 million views, 100k likes, and 13k retweets. It was replied to by Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who has over 144 million followers, and was reposted by numerous online news outlets such as The Independent UK, The Express Tribune and Startup Pakistan.
Conclusion: Chatbots such as ChatGPT and Google BARD are large language models that can generate text based on a given input but cannot produce activation keys for Microsoft Windows. Activation keys are uniquely generated and verified by Microsoft, and chatbots do not have access to Microsoft’s database of activation keys, nor can they guess them randomly.
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